The purpose of the TRIBES program is to assure the positive development of every child so that each one has the knowledge, skills and resilience to be successful and content with their goals in a rapidly changing and diverse world.

TRIBES is a whole school program which is timetabled in Term 2 and Term 3. The program compliments and consolidates explicitly taught Wellbeing lessons throughout the year that focus on values, building positive relationships and resilience. At Karoo we believe these aspects prepare the child for life’s encounters and gives students strategies to best deal with positive and negative experiences.

At Karoo we follow the five TRIBE’s agreements listed below and we focus on the Karoo Values of Responsibility, Respect, Honesty & Fairness, Excellence and Tolerance & Understanding. At Karoo we also focus on building positive relationships and respecting the diversity of people.

The Five TRIBES’s Agreements:

These agreements are displayed and regularly referred to in each classroom.

TRIBES is a program that the whole school adheres to. TRIBES norms are part of each classrooms’ positive statement and Tribes activities and strategies are used across the school.

During Term 2 and 3, whole school TRIBES are held 4 times instead of an assembly. Every staff member has a TRIBE they are responsible for and activities are arranged by the Wellbeing committee.

TRIBES promotes the school values through:

These concepts are explicitly taught and students are coached in skills needed to become good students and co-operative learners.  They learn assertiveness and learn HOW to be great learners.

The school community uses a common language in interpreting behaviours, which has simplified processes and children are empowered to help find their own solutions to problems.

As well as helping  to build productive learning communities, TRIBES incorporates all we know about good teaching and learning:

  • How to best cater for individual learning differences.
  • Brain compatible learning.
  • How to create flexible learning areas to improve  student engagement.
  • The importance of valuing individual and cultural diversity.
  • Problem solving.

Mutual Respect: To affirm the value and uniqueness of each person; to recognise and appreciate individual and cultural differences; and offer feedback that encourages growth.

Attentive Listening: Listening with the eyes, ears and heart. We promote empathy and understanding. 

Appreciation/ No Put-Downs: We encourage the appreciation of the unique qualities, gifts and skills of each individual.  We treat others kindly. We avoid negative comments, name-calling, hurtful gestures and behaviours. 

Right to Participate: We value think time.  We acknowledge the importance of the right to choose when and to what extent one will participate in an activity; to observe quietly if not participating actively and to choose to offer observations later to a group when asked to do so. 

Personal Best: We acknowledge that for children to improve, they must always be working at their personal best.  Setting personal goals and working toward them is the pursuit of excellence.  Children have the opportunity to be presented with Personal Best awards to reward their striving for EXCELLENCE. 

We asked the children what they thought about TRIBES in the first year of its implementation:

How has our school changed since the introduction of TRIBES?

Our children say:


  • given me the opportunity to make more friends.
  • helped me get along with people better.
  • made me challenge myself more.
  • helped others notice when I’m sad.
  • helped me extend my relationships in the playground.
  • made me enjoy my class studies.
  • helped me learn more.
  • helped me be better at Art.
  • helped me work better.
  • helped me be more confident.
  • given me confidence.
  • helped me to solve my own problems.

TRIBES encourages me.

For more information on TRIBES please speak to one of our staff or try the TRIBES website.